Representative Elissa Slotkin, who serves Michigan’s 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited the Michigan State University campus Wednesday, Sept. 4. Slotkin met with deans and toured MSU research facilities with a particular focus on animal agriculture.
The visit began with a meeting at the Minskoff Pavilion, a new building on campus for the Eli Broad College of Business. Slotkin and MSU deans discussed federally funded projects and the importance of receiving grant support at the national level.
“I’m in Washington advocating for those dollars, and I need to have as much awareness of where these programs are going as possible,” Slotkin said. “I wanted to come see it for myself.”
From there, Slotkin headed to the Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center, where she was greeted by researchers and leadership from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR). Beef cattle are of special interest to Slotkin. She grew up on a farm in Holly, Michigan, and her family was involved in the meat industry for four generations.
Daniel Buskirk, the faculty coordinator of the center, detailed current research and led a tour of the facility. Jason Rowntree, an associate professor in the Department of Animal Science, explained his work on creating sustainable beef production systems in the face of issues such as climate change and the need to produce more food.
“It’s great to showcase the work we do in Rep. Slotkin’s district, especially given her interest in agriculture,” said Ron Hendrick, dean of CANR. “Along with other MSU leadership, I spoke to Rep. Slotkin about the importance of federal support, and we look forward to partnering with her in the future.”
The last stop was the Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory. Slotkin heard about what’s being done to prepare for emerging threats, including the biosecurity challenges of disease development.
Slotkin said she appreciated the opportunity to see the facilities firsthand, while citing MSU as a leader in the animal agriculture industry.
“You have to get away from the hype in Washington and actually listen to the practitioners to understand what’s really going on in agriculture, the environment and the future of the beef industry,” Slotkin said. “We have an amazing resource here in MSU, and those are my experts.”